Preventative Ear Care
Many swimmers are susceptible to swimmer’s ear, a painful bacterial infection of the outer ear region. If your swimmer has had swimmer’s ear in the past, or wishes to prevent its occurrence, try the following preventive measures recommended by Edward J. Drawbaugh, M.D. They are listed by progressive strength.
- Simply use a hair dryer to dry the inside of the ear canal.
- Using an eyedropper, apply several drops of straight alcohol to each ear. This breaks the surface tension of water in the ear and helps it to run back out. This also helps to dry up residual water.
- Using an eyedropper, apply several drops of a solution of ¾ alcohol and ¼ vinegar. (The dried vinegar crystals prevent the growth of the swimmer’s ear bacteria)
- Prescription remedies are also available through your doctor. Do not put alcohol in any ear when a sharp burning pain is subsequent to application. Any preventive ear program must be done after each time the child swims to be effective.
- If your child contracts swimmer’s ear, a visit to the doctor is in order. The doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics for the infection and recommend not swimming for a period of time.